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Bod-Inc: A-447

Ars Moriendi

Ars moriendi ‘Cum de praesentis exilii miseria mortis transitus . . .’


Analysis of Content

a1r [Title-page.]

a2r Ars moriendi. Incipit: ‘[C]um de presentis exilii miseria mortis transitus propter moriendi impericiam multis non solum laicis . . .’ See A‑444.

c8v ‘Ad omnes angelos et precipue ad Sanctum Michaelem.’ [Also known as Ad S. Michaelem carmen.] Incipit: ‘[I]nclyte celigena Michael fulgoris amena | Alta colens regna plusquam dulcedine plena'; 9 strophes of 4 leonine hexameters. See A‑444.

d1v De meditatione mortis. Incipit: ‘[Q]uacumque impugnatione aut tentatione inpugnaris vel pigricia torpescis . . .’

d7v De meditatione mortis carmen. Incipit: ‘[M]ortales dominus cunctos in luce creauit | Ut capiant meritis gaudia summa poli'; 7 distichs. See A‑444. Chevalier attributes authorship to Bruno Carthusiensis.

d8r [Dionysius Carthusiensis(?)]: ‘Lex est ista mortis.’ [Iudicium mortis et eius casus | Elegia de iudicio mortis et variis casibus eius.] ‘[L]ex metuenda premit mortales omnibus vna | Mors cita sed dubia nec fugienda venit'; 28 distichs. See A‑444.

e1r [Augustinus pseudo-; Bernardus Claravallensis pseudo-]: Speculum peccatoris. Incipit: ‘[Q]uoniam, fratres karissimi, in via huius seculi fugientis sumus . . .’ See A‑444.

e8v Bernardus [Claravallensis pseudo-]: De contemptu mundi. Incipit: ‘O miranda vanitas, o diuiciarum amor | Lamentabilis, o virus amarum'; 56 lines of rhythmic verses. See A‑444. In this edition, this and the following item are regarded as being one work.

f2r [Bernardus Claravallensis pseudo-]: Meditatio mortis. Incipit: ‘Dic homo cur abuteris discretionis gratia | Cum vite viam deferis et tendis ad supplicia'; 25 lines of rhythmic verses. See A‑444.

f2v Bernardus [Claravallensis pseudo-: De morte et iudicio.] Incipit: ‘O Christi longanimitas et longua expectatio | O mira Christi bonitas, o quanta miseratio'; 52 lines of rhythmic verses. See A‑444.

f3v [Valedictory notice.] Incipit: ‘Nos dicimus duplicem esse vitam . . .’

f3v [Verse.] Incipit: ‘Non est quo possit melius caro viua domari | Mortua qualis erit, quod semper premeditari'; 2 hexameters. See A‑444.


Imprint: Paris: Guy Marchant (in part) for Jean Petit, 23 Aug. 1499. 8°.


Collation: a–e8 f4.

Illustrations: Woodcut on a1v: Moses and the Israelites gathering manna; see BMC VIII 67.


ISTC: ia01100500

GW: GW 2614;

Hain: C 679 = 995;


Proctor: Pr 8022;

Others: CIBN A‑600; O'Connor, Art of Dying, 149; Sheppard 6237.

LCN: 13980136


Copy number: A-447(1)

Bound with:
1. Johannes Chrysostomus, De reparatione lapsi. Rouen: Martin Morin, 21 June 1495 (J‑138);
3. Werner Rolewinck, De venerabili sacramento et valore missarum. Paris: Guy Marchant, [for Jean Petit], 10 June 1499 (R‑103(2)).

Wanting the blank leaf f4.

Binding: Sprinkled calf; the arms of Michael Wodhull on the upper cover; the gold stamp of the Bodleian Library on the lower cover.

Size: 145 × 111 × 16 mm.

Size of leaf: 140 × 98 mm.

Marginal annotations in the same fifteenth/sixteenth-century hand in all three items. On f3v: ‘The cyrcumsycion for the Saturday | The agornye for the Soonday | The flagellacion for the Moonday | The coronasion for the Tewsday | The teryng for the Wedynsday | The nalyng for the Thursday | The stryk off the spere for the Fryday', in a sixteenth-century(?) hand. On d7v: ‘Hic herebus: the depest place in hell | hec palus is a fen or marresse, and palus, i [ ] a stake', in a sixteenth-century hand. On E10v of item 1, a verse, ‘Mors iusti subita si bona percedit vita | Non aufert merita si moriatur ita' (cf. Walther, Proverbia, 15169); on the last sacrament, in prose, ‘Anselmus dicit quod infirmus la[ ]nes in extremis antequam . . .'; commemoration of three archbishops of York: ‘Junii felix octaua dies obierunt | Qua tres pontifices istius ecclesie | Sanctus Willelmus [St William Fitzherbert, Archbishop of York 1143-7, 1153-4, †1154], Richardus Scrope [Richard Scrope (c.1350-1405) Archbishop of York 1398-1405] quoque Newellus | Ecce Georgius [George Neville (1432-1476) Archbishop of York 1465-76] hoc sarcofago recubans | Sicut congaudens peperit tres Anna Marias | Sic parit [hos] trinos mater [hæc] ecclesia'; part of the epitaph from George Neville's tomb (location now unknown) in York Minster, and recorded in the brief life of Neville, attributed to William Melton, chancellor of York Minster, 1496-1528: see The Historians of the Church of York and its Archbishops, ed. James Raine, II (Rolls ser., 71b) (London, 1886), p. xxv and 437, and in Gillian Keir, ‘The Ecclesiastical Career of George Neville 1432-76', unpublished B.Litt. thesis, University of Oxford, 1970, 182-3; also Alan Coates, ‘Epitaph for an Archbishop', BLR 15,4 (1996), 323-5.

Provenance: Michael Wodhull (1740-1816); possibly purchased by Wodhull in 1798; a note: ‘Aug. 30th 1798' on rear endleaf; see sale (3 Mar. 1801), lot 96. Purchased for £0. 14. 0; see Books Purchased (1827), 5; note on [A1r] of item 1.

Former Bodleian shelfmark: Auct. P 5.11.

SHELFMARK: Auct. 7Q 5.6(2).

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